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Updated July, 2010
Oracle provides its MySQL database server and MySQL Client Libraries under a dual license model designed to meet the development and distribution needs of both commercial distributors (such as OEMs, ISVs and VARs) and open source projects.
OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), ISVs (Independent Software Vendors), VARs (Value Added Resellers) and other distributors that combine and distribute commercially licensed software with MySQL software and do not wish to distribute the source code for the commercially licensed software under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (the "GPL") must enter into a commercial license agreement with Oracle.
For developers of Free Open Source Software ("FOSS") applications under the GPL that want to combine and distribute those FOSS applications with MySQL software, Oracle’s MySQL open source software licensed under the GPL is the best option.
For developers and distributors of open source software under a FOSS license other than the GPL, Oracle makes its GPL-licensed MySQL Client Libraries available under a FOSS Exception that enables use of the those MySQL Client Libraries under certain conditions without causing the entire derivative work to be subject to the GPL.